A year following the death of his mother, Josh Allen discovers he has a strong desire to share the story of the twenty-four-year relationship his mother, Kenzie Taylor, shared with his best friend, Todd Langford. What makes the story he endeavors to tell unique is the age difference separating them. Josh's mother was fourteen years older than Todd. Whereas as society readily accepts the difference between an older man and a woman young enough to be his daughter, it doesn't when the woman is older.
Kenzie and Todd met briefly for the first time at Josh's wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. He could never decide whether this is where it actually began for them or if it began a year later when she returned for a visit and to explore the probability of moving to the area. The loss of her husband in a tragic accident and the injuries she sustained in it were forcing her to abandon her home she loved dearly in the western mountains of North Carolina.
Todd had been a lost soul for years. The gruesome deaths of his wife and infant son inflicted scars too deep to ever heal. Josh thought whenever Todd and his mother looked at each other, they saw reflections of themselves and those reflections pulled at them like magnets. Slowly, with time, they became kindred spirits—but not without trials and tribulations.
Charleston, a staunch old town steeped in history and tradition, didn't make life easy for them. There were barriers to be broken before they could live their lives freely. And both of them had their own demons to put to bed before they could move forward with their relationship. As Josh tells his story, he touches on many issues of life that begs for exposure.
Josh frequently compared their relationship to that of neglected flowering plants. He saw both them when they were lifeless and simply went through the motions of living for the benefit of others—not themselves. He noticed the changes as their relationship deepened over time and likened it to the budding of a rose that finally, after a long struggle, bursts into a beautiful bloom. And after sharing its beauty with the world, slowly dies on the vine.